March 6, 2024
4 min read

How to Merge Google Workspace Accounts

If you're looking to merge two Google Workspace environments, you're about to embark on a long, tumultuous, turbulent, difficult journey. Ironically, it's the hardest Google migration you can do. Strap in.

Inboxes smashing together - kind of like my head and the table when I did this for the first time in 2013 😃.

Here are your options:

  • Domain Transfer tool - only if you're a big customer and can part with £20k+ for the transfer. It's pretty painless, but you need to set up your instances to make the tool work perfectly.
  • Workspace Migrate - Google's own tool. Expensive to run and works quite well. Takes a lot of set-up.
  • Third-party migration tools - There are other tools. Some great, some bad.
  • Pay a partner to do it for you - This could cost anywhere between £5k to £200k, depending on the size of both instances (or if you have more than one to merge!).

Let's dive into it!

Workspace Migrate

The Workspace Migrate option is designed by Google. While not as straightforward as using the Domain Transfer tool, Workspace Migrate offers a more accessible alternative for organisations that cannot justify the high cost of the Domain Transfer tool but still possess the technical acumen to manage migrations.

Workspace Migrate allows you to selectively transfer emails, calendars, and drive files between accounts. It requires thorough preparation of both the source and destination environments to ensure compatibility and minimise disruptions. Moreover, this method demands a good understanding of Google Workspace admin features and may involve some manual steps to complete the process.

You also need to know a bit about infrastructure - you have to setup a SQL Server, a few (very beefy) VM's, and figure out the networking between them.

Key considerations when using Workspace Migrate include:

  • Data Selection: Carefully select the data you wish to migrate to ensure that no critical information is left behind.
  • User Mapping: Map users between the two environments correctly to ensure data ends up in the correct accounts.
  • Testing: Conduct thorough testing before the full migration to troubleshoot potential issues.

While Workspace Migrate offers more control over the migration process, it requires significant time and effort to execute properly. Organisations must weigh the internal resource commitment against the costs of alternative methods. Google has comprehensive documentation about using the tool.

3rd Party Migration Tool

For businesses seeking a balance between cost and ease of migration, third-party migration tools present a viable option. These tools are designed to simplify the migration process, offering user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive support for a variety of data types beyond what Workspace Migrate covers, including contacts, sites, and more intricate settings.

When selecting a third-party tool, consider:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the tool supports all the data types you need to migrate.
  • Cost: While generally less expensive than hiring a partner, costs can vary widely based on the scale of the migration.
  • Support: Look for tools with strong customer support to assist during the migration process.

Third-party tools often provide detailed logging and reporting, allowing for easier troubleshooting and ensuring a smoother transition. However, the quality and capabilities of these tools can vary, making it important to conduct thorough research and potentially trial a shortlist of candidates before committing. CloudM, Movebot, and Multcloud should probably make it into your decision matrix.

Pay a Partner to Do It for You

For organisations that prefer to minimise their involvement in the migration process or lack the internal resources to manage it, paying a partner to handle the migration is an attractive option. Costs can range widely, from £5k to £200k, influenced by the complexity of the migration, the volume of data, and the specific services required.

Engaging a partner offers several advantages:

  • Expertise: Partners specialising in Google Workspace migrations bring deep expertise and experience, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Comprehensive Services: From planning to post-migration support, partners can offer end-to-end services, reducing the burden on your internal teams.
  • Custom Solutions: Partners can provide tailored solutions to meet specific business needs, addressing complexities that off-the-shelf tools cannot.

However, the key to a successful partnership lies in choosing the right vendor. Look for partners with a proven track record in Google Workspace migrations, and be sure to clearly define the scope, timelines, and expectations before commencing the project.

We're a little biased, but we think we're the best 💪. We actually have a blog about how we run our migrations. If you're looking for someone to either guide you through these options, or just take this whole rigmarole off your hands, drop your email below and we'll be in touch!

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